Bernie Ecclestone reveals regret over not stripping Lewis Hamilton of championship

Lewis Hamilton is currently one world championship title away from becoming the most successful F1 driver of all time.

The 2008 F1 season was filled with drama and ended in spectacular fashion, with a young Lewis Hamilton overtaking Timo Glock on the final lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix to snatch the title away from Felipe Massa.

This was the first of Hamilton’s seven championship victories, but former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone has now sensationally revealed that he should have taken this first title away from the Brit.

Midway through the season, Nelson Piquet Jr deliberately crashed his car at the Singapore Grand Prix to trigger a safety car, this allowed his Renault teammate Fernando Alonso to get a free pitstop and charge to victory.

Ecclestone has admitted that in the wake of the controversial race in Singapore, he should have voided the race result, taking the points away from the drivers who scored that weekend.

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Voiding the Singapore Grand Prix would have meant that come the end of the season, Felipe Massa would have won his first and only championship as he finished outside of the points in Singapore while Hamilton finished third.

“Back then, there was a rule that a world championship classification after the FIA awards ceremony at the end of the year was untouchable. So Hamilton was presented with the world championship and everything was fine,” explained Ecclestone.

“But, according to the statutes, we should have cancelled the race in Singapore under these conditions. That means it would never have happened for the world championship standings. Then Felipe Massa would have become world champion and not Lewis Hamilton.

“I still feel sorry for Massa today. He won the final at his home race in Sao Paulo and did everything right. Hamilton had all the luck in the world and won his first championship. Today I would have arranged things differently.”

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While Hamilton may have been lucky to win the championship back in 2008, the Brit has also been on the receiving end of some controversial decisions.

The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix saw Max Verstappen snatch the championship from right under Hamilton’s nose as a result of a controversial decision by race director Michael Masi.

Mercedes have looked uncompetitive once again so far this season, meaning that Hamilton may have to wait another year to be able to challenge for a record breaking eighth world title.